TTUHSC El Paso Students, Research Tech Receive Awards for Diabetes Research

Three Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) students and one research technician walked away from this year’s Faces of Diabetes Conference with cash awards for their research on diabetes.

The 13th annual conference drew 144 students and professionals from all over Texas, New Mexico and Northern Mexico in an effort to raise awareness about current innovations in diabetes care and research. Among its participants were graduate biomedical sciences student Josue Enriquez, second-year medical students Pompeyo Quesada and Roberto Solis and research technician Mayra Gonzalez.

All four entered the contest using research from their work in the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM)’s Center of Emphasis (COE) in Diabetes and Metabolism. Solis and Quesada placed second for their poster on “The Role of Histone Deacetylases in the Development of Diabetic Complications” and Enriquez and Gonzalez placed third for their poster on the “Role of HMGB1 Inhibitor Glycyrrhizin in Diabetic Nephropathy.”

This focus on cutting-edge research is especially impactful for the border because it has a high rate of diabetes. To help combat this trend, much of the research underway is prevention-focused, explains Munmun Chattopadhyay, Ph.D., assistant professor and faculty researcher in the COE in Diabetes and Metabolism.

“The future goal of our research is to detect biological markers by evaluating the metabolic and nutritional status of overweight and obese children/adults in the borderland,” said Dr. Chattopadhyay, with the ultimate goal being to prevent diabetes and obesity and other comorbities, rather than just treating the disease.

The Faces of Diabetes Conference is a joint effort between the PLFSOM, University Medical Center of El Paso, the El Paso Diabetes Association and several other regional health organizations.